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maryann johanson | watching movies at home

question of the day: How do we tame the excesses of fanboy culture?

Batman facepalm

You probably missed it, because you are a psychologically well-adjusted person, but the Internet went, well, batshit yesterday when the first reviews of The Dark Knight Rises started appearing on Rotten Tomatoes, and a few of them were less than wholly adoring. The few Rotten reviews quickly racked up hundreds of comments, most of which are either vile deprecations — and in the case of the one female critic, Christy Lemire of the Associated Press, actively misogynistic brutality — or calls from other commenters to cool it. (RT has now disabled commenting on this film.) Critic Marshall Fine’s Web site was overloaded by angry fans in a successful attempt to crash it, says Criticwire.

Late in the day, Rotten Tomatoes editor Matt Atchity posted a rare response to the mess, which also included some pushback against Tomatometer critic Eric D. Snider, who pranked idiotic RT commenters by posting a link to a fake negative review of the film in order to prove how kneejerk those fans can be. RT was not happy; Snider later sarcastically tweeted:

I apologize to those I offended who like to respond angrily to reviews they’ve only read one sentence of, of movies they haven’t seen.

At one point during this fiasco, I tweeted in support of Snider’s pointed prank:

Would love to think that @ericdsnider has nailed reformatory theses to the door of @RottenTomatoes and kicked off the Fan Enlightenment

Because, seriously, the fan-damentalism of some of these people is in serious need of major reform. I just don’t know how we go about making it happen. Do you?

How do we tame the excesses of fanboy culture?

These people appear to have no shame, so I doubt we can shame them into behaving better. So what do we do?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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